Sprained Ankle, Muscles, Pain, and Swelling

I’ve been so busy writing my newest book, The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution, that time just slipped away from me.  As I was doing my last proofing before it goes to the editor, I was reading about how muscles are affected when you sprain your ankle or break a bone.  It’s important information, and is totally overlooked by the medical community when either of those situations occur. So, I decided I’d share it with you.

The Effect of Sprains on Muscles

When you sprain your ankle the muscles of your lower leg get totally overstretched (peroneals) and snap back into multiple spasms, or totally contracted (tibialis anterior) and stay in the shortened length preventing you from moving your foot. Since both of these muscles insert into the arch of your foot, you will feel terrible pain in your foot.

Plus, the tendons of both muscles run under a ligament that wraps around the front and sides of your ankle, so when they are tight they are pressing the tendon right up into the underside of the ligament, and it feels like a razor blade cutting into your tendon. To compound the problem, these muscles are responsible for all side-to-side movements you make with your ankle, you won’t be able to move your ankle in any direction

The muscles of your calf (gastrocnemius and soleus) insert into your heel and lift your heel up so you can stand on your toes.  As you are spraining your ankle, these muscles will also go into spasm, pulling your heel up, but the other two muscles are pulling in a way that will make the calf muscles need to lengthen, but they can’t because of the spasms.

You are feeling pain in your ankle and the pressure is causing swelling of your entire ankle and foot. It’s right to put ice on your ankle because there was other damage caused by the sprain, but the primary problem, your lower leg, is rarely every considered as a part of the problem. Yet it is a huge part of the problem.

I imagine you already have my book, Treat Yourself to Pain-Free LivingI suggest you go to the lower leg chapter and look for the treatments for these muscles.  They are easy to do, but do go slowly at first as they will be very sore.  You can gradually build up the pressure as you force toxins out of the muscles and they begin to respond.  The odds are excellent that in 24-48 hours you’ll be walking normally again.

Next week I’ll write about how a broken bone makes your muscles snap to their shortest length – and stay there permanently.  You can have pain many years after your bone is healed because of these tight muscles.  But, more of that next week.

Wishing you well,



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